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Home insurance for your valuables: How to cover things that are priceless

Stephanie Taylor Christensen

As one of the biggest assets you’ll ever have, your home needs to be protected with home insurance. But what about the items inside? Generally, a home insurance policy will cover standard contents like furniture, electronics and clothing. But there are limits to the coverage amounts, so, if you have additional valuables like art, jewelry, big-ticket electronics or special collections, you may need to supplement your home insurance with extra coverage.

Art, antiques, collections

You don’t have to own a massive estate to have a collection worthy of additional insurance coverage. According to the Insurance Information Institute , art or pieces of modest value are likely covered under a standard home insurance policy. But art and other collections of substantial value could require a floater.

Floaters are attachments to insurance policies that provide extra coverage for specific items. They often do not require deductibles and will provide broader coverage than a standard policy in unique situations — such as borrowing art to display in your home temporarily. Collections that remain in your home for a longer span of time also should be periodically appraised to determine current value and any subsequent insurance coverage.

Jewelry and furs

A home insurance policy usually includes coverage for valuables like jewelry in the event of perils such as fire and theft. However, particularly in the case of theft, the coverage is generally limited to $1,500, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Many commonly owned pieces like wedding and engagement rings, watches, gems and furs are worth much more than standard coverage limits allow. To ensure you’re properly covered, you have two options.

The least expensive option is to raise the limit of liability on your existing home insurance policy. This blanket coverage generally can be done in a matter of minutes by contacting your insurer. For a particularly valuable collection and more complete coverage, consider scheduled personal property SPP). An endorsement to your existing home insurance policy, SPP lists all covered items individually, with stated amount limits. It also covers losses that occur during travel the theft of a diamond bracelet during your vacation, for example).

Electronics and instruments

If you own expensive TVs, speakers or other home electronics, consider personal electronic equipment insurance. This offers broader coverage than a standard home insurance policy for things like stereos, computer equipment, flat-screen TVs and audio equipment in the event of damage, loss or installation problems. In some cases, it also covers repair and replacement of items.

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